A spiritual son of Padre Pio, Fr. Vaccarini hasn’t wasted a minute of his century-long life.
Father, priest, father of priests, centenarian, author, disciple of Padre Pio, Veteran of World War II … Perhaps we could think of Fr. Probo Vaccarini as a sort of spiritual Forrest Gump: someone who has received all seven sacraments—some from his own children—and conferred most of them as well, and who has seen some of the most significant events and personalities of the 20th and 21st centuries first-hand.
He turned 100 years old on June 4, and he celebrated the occasion by concelebrating a Mass presided over by Bishop Francesco Labiasi, of Rimini, Italy (the diocese where Fr. Vaccarini ministers), and with his four sons who are also priests. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Vatican, sent a message relaying a message of congratulations and a papal blessing from Pope Francis, read aloud during the Eucharistic celebration.
Despite his age and many accomplishments—besides what we’ve already mentioned, he’s published more than 15 books, including an autobiography in Italian titled Husband, Widower, Priest—Fr. Vaccarini hasn’t retired. He’s the oldest active priest in the diocese, and possibly in all of Italy, but he says he still feels “like a newly ordained priest.”
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With thanks to Aleteia, where this article originally appeared.